Memorial to Aborigines, photo by my Cousin Greg

My Cousin Greg Towner posted this photo on his facebook page.   Thanks Greg!

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Photo by Greg Towner.

Chatting with an Australian friend this morning, I mentioned this memorial and she asked if I could post it on my blog.    It strikes me as humorous that I am a go-between two Australians, here literally on the other side of the world.    Greg  has written and published some excellent accounts of our family and history of Australia.

At this point I have been trying to mention the kinship of Greg and Me.   After several stabs at it I decided that we are second cousins.  Close enough…these family relationships get complicated, and no one really cares about it anyway.  🙂    I have a family tree someplace.

Hey…where is everybody?

…just kidding!    I know you guys are out there doing your respective activities and chores.   It’s ME that has been absent for a long time.    So now I’m back.

No, it wasn’t you…its me.   Stuff happening just one after another, and although I thought about writing some of it in the blog, usually forgot about it until the next Big Thing came along.   Into some pouting, but that has been counter-productive, no one cares about most of the big-bugaboos that bug me.

Spending a lot of time playing with dolls…er, I mean getting dolls ready to list on ebay.  Back in my auction days a few summers ago I acquired a LOT of dolls.   Some I thought were next to worthless turn out to be money-makers, and some I hoped would make me rich were real duds.    As “doll people” know better than I do, Barbie Dolls can be worth their weight in gold…or not…bad hair days aside.   It seems most of these dolls don’t have any clothes, the ones that do have no shoes.     But Barbie never was just a pretty face, she has survived all sorts of adverse conditions, up to and including living out their lives with smiling faces in boxes and bags and drawers all over the world.

As for the “bad hair” which seems to be a characteristic of Barbie’s in general, price being no object, all their hair is subject to turmoil and stress.   On a whim, I googled “how to fix Barbie hair” and found all kinds of information on the subject very helpful, the  fact that much of the info is presented by eight-year-olds with video cameras notwithstanding.

The “test” Barbie looked like her waist-length black hair had been subjected to a wind tunnel.  So I followed the u-tubers advice, which involved washing the doll’s hair with shampoo or liquid soap, working up a good lather…then applying regular for-humans conditioner and rinsing it out.  Then the tricky part, brushing the doll’s hair.   The u-tubers say “never use a comb” but since I had to use a comb I did.   The trick is to start in the middle of the length of the hair, work downward toward the ends; then work in segments, not trying to do the entire length of the hair in one swoop.     It works like a charm…at least on that one Barbie.    The utube experts say the technique works on many other kinds of dolls.   I suppose the key is the rooted grounding of the hair in the scalp, not held together with glue.

I just ordered some high heel Barbie shoes online,

Well…I must say it feels good to write a blog entry.




Measles and other vaccines

Measles? Really?

Back in the day, 1963 more or less, my more or less tranquil household came face to face with a childhood disease that, at the time, was common in the United States. Measles…along with Mumps and Chicken Pox, were not perhaps considered to be a really big deal. Most children encountered the diseases in school, and were almost immediately contagious and parents and teachers alike usually dealt with Measles almost as routine.

My first grader came down with Measles, broke out head to toe in the warm red rash and fever that were characteristic of the childhood disease. Actually considered more of a nuisance than a threat at the time, we settled down into the Measles routine: stay in bed, cover windows to prevent light coming in, drink plenty of liquids, and hope other children in the family did not contract the ailment—while facing the fact that they probably would, as the patient was highly contagious.

At the time we had two younger children, boys less than two years of age. With my already worn copy of Dr. Spock’s Children and Baby Care close at hand, Dr. Spock was the first line of defense against childhood perils as the epitome of encouraging and reassuring information. When “the doctor” recommended that the boys be fortified with gamma globulin injection as a precaution, although he assured me that the risk to them was small. (Note please: I just fact-checked that statement, to make sure that wasn’t part of my sometimes dramatic memory.)

My daughter, however, became very ill very fast. She had the attendant high fever, 106-degrees is the number that I remember, and showed all the symptoms of Measles, including hallucinations, which scared the living daylights out of me.
There was the “hard Measles,” with its severe symptoms of fever, rash, delirium, eyesight impairment….and “the three-day-Measles,” which was a different disease altogether apparently.

It so happened that daughter’s first grade class was scheduled to appear in a television segment, performing a skit or song at the local TV station. The performance had been long anticipated, and the children in the class diligently learned their lines, and practiced for the show. Daughter had been looking forward to the presentation, and was very disappointed that she would not be able to participate. We consulted with the doctor, who advised that there would probably be no damage to her young eyes from exposure to the TV set for a few minutes, and we went to elaborate lengths to wheel the TV and its stand into the sick room, and dim the light appropriately…but alas, the poor little girl was too ill to even glance at the television, nor was she even interested.

This little vignette from my past (I took everything very seriously back in the day) comes to mind whenever the subject of Measles comes up. Daughter was personally none the worse for her bout with the Measles. The boys did not get the disease then, and our two little girls who came along a couple of years later were protected by the relatively-new Measles vaccine.

Rewinding to about thirty years before, when I was a child myself, I recall vividly standing in line with all of my other classmates waiting our turn to get out “shots” from the school nurse. This experience was high drama, as we watched with dread as the kids at the front of the line actually got their injection, displaying varying degrees of panic, bravado, or silent terror.

No one had a choice back then…I’m talking 1940s…your kid got in the line and got the shot. Happily, the result was that Measles disease was nearly eradicated.

A quick check on the spelling of “eradicated” I happened upon this appropriate Wikipedia comment:

What diseases have vaccines eliminated? Vaccines have contributed to a significant reduction in many childhood infectious diseases, such as diphtheria, measles, and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). Some infectious diseases, such as polio and smallpox, have been eliminated in the United States due to effective vaccines.

The Art of clever conversation, a Wordle from MLMM

Here is one of favorite Wordles from a couple of years ago. I love Wordles, and I really need to get back to work. 🙂   (In this Update I have changed the original title.)


It’s been awhile since I published one of my Wordle attempts.   MindLoveMiseryMenagerie regularly presents these Word-puzzles, in which a list of words is provided, to be crafted into a poem or other form of writing.     This Wordle is    #157.  (*see word list below.)

The Art of Flirting

We have reached a stalemate…you and I
in our playhouse of make-believe,
avoiding muse-thieves in cahoots vis-à-vis
in competition for cleverness … a turn of a phrase.

I bite my tongue in affected semaphorism
… a flicker of eyelashes with a knowing smile,
a hint of a shared secret, imaginary  interlude
“remember the willows…?” a tentative glance…

To know or not to know becomes the quest
we wonder: are we on the same page?
Do we deserve to solve the paradox
of saying nothing…while expressing it all?

©Sometimes, 2017

*Word list: bite, smooth, open, deserve, paradox, semaphorism, stalemate, tension…

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Debunking Granny…

I decided to visit other blog-friends, and found this wonderful post on Sue Vincent’s site, Daily Echo. Sue is a pal from my own early blogging days. She tendered the invitation to share, so I am taking the opportunity to reblog this on my site.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

It was Barb Taub that started me thinking, with her collection of gems learned over the years. One in particular I recognised and yet, on the five occasions when I have been rushed to hospital in an ambulance, all sirens wailing and my life or limbs in the balance, I can honestly say that no-one has ever passed comment on the state of my underwear.

On one of these occasions, underwear was absent from the equation altogether because I was wearing nightclothes when disaster struck. On another, all garments had either melted with the heat or been hastily ripped off to prevent further burns. It would not have mattered a jot whether the pertinent articles had been pristine cotton, lacy confections or the over-washed grey of comfort. They had to go.

In fairness to Great Granny, who had impressed upon me the need for unimpeachable unmentionables, at no time was…

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Lighting and Shadows in Cleveland

The first feature that fascinated me is the golden-hued appearance of the buildings in the background. Although born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and having worked in the city and knew my way around in the 1950s, new construction and infrastructure has changed the city appearance so much that I am not able to discuss many details. (The city’s iconic Terminal Tower is seen from a different perspective than is normally photographed. This striking golden-hue is a small part of the magnificent appearance of the entire Cleveland sky-line which obviously can only be appreciated at a given time of afternoon, with a bright Sun illuminating the buildings…and while heading East on the I-90/I-71 highway bridge. *Not to say that is the only vantage viewpoint.)

We were downtown for the purpose of attending 13-year-old great-granddaughter’s first formal photography class exhibit, a project of the Ohio Arts Council. The show was very well done, with names on the wall and five photos which each participant shot and developed from film. We arrived downtown about two hours early, and parked in a great spot on Detroit Avenue, so I took some photos of my own, which are included in this WordPress Post. (Please note that the Time Stamp on these photos is wrong, the actual date should be 12/09/2018, the time 16:43 is probably right.)

Looking East at sunlit Cleveland in the distance.. (©Sometimes 2019)
(© Sometimes, 2019)
Contrasting iron fencing and shadows, and the brick buildings, take on interest in the afternoon Sunlight. (©Sometimes,2019)
The late Sunlight illuminates the colors of bricks in this elderly building. (© Sometimes, 2019)